Mix Up Your Weekly Rotation with These 5 Dinner Ideas

Dinner basics for busy weeknights. This week’s meal plan focuses on either quick and easy dinner recipes or recipes where the work is broken up—a slow cooker pulled pork that’s prepped in the morning and cooks while you’re at work or a vegetarian main where you roast the squash on Sunday to make getting Monday night’s dinner on the table that much faster.

This meal plan is written in partnership with Perdue

This month, we welcome back Marta Rivera for more of her meal plans. Marta is a trained chef, mom of twins and Army wife, and a Simply Recipes recipe tester and developer!

Make it from scratch and you’ll be glad you did—even when life is busy.

When I’m staring down a busy week, I pick simple recipes that come together quickly or recipes where I can break up the work. That’s exactly what the five dinner recipes in this week’s meal plan accomplish.

Monday and Tuesday’s recipes can be prepped on the weekend. Take an hour on Sunday to roast the spaghetti squash and scrape the “noodles” for Monday’s dinner. While the squash is roasting, make the rub for the Slow Cooker Cider Pulled Pork, coat a pork shoulder and cook it in the slow cooker. Then, come Tuesday, all you need to do is shred it and make the sauce. You can even serve Monday night’s leftover spaghetti squash casserole as a side for Tuesday’s pulled pork sandwiches.

If meal prep isn’t your thing, that’s OK. The recipes at the end of the week are quick, easy, and come together in less than 30 minutes. Do what works best for you.

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Roast and shred the squash on Sunday to make Monday’s meal prep quick and easy. Then add in PERDUE® SHORT CUTS® Carved Chicken Breast for a boost of protein, and to complete this meal that's sure to become a cozy family favorite!

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Crockpot Pulled Pork

This recipe feeds an army! Freeze half to use later or repurpose leftovers all week long. Use in sandwiches topped with coleslaw and serve with chips, or enjoy as a main alongside mashed potatoes and steamed vegetables. Need more ideas? Check out our post: 6 Meals to Make with Pulled Pork.

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Shepherd's Pie

Who doesn’t love a complete meal-in-one? This beef and vegetable casserole is topped with creamy mashed potatoes and baked to perfection. No need to pull out vegetable peelers and dice fresh vegetables. Frozen veggies, which you can thaw overnight in the fridge and drain, work just as well.

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Turkey Larb Recipe

Use either ground chicken or turkey in this flavorful, spicy, eat-with-your-hands dinner. Serve it with sweet butter lettuce leaves and plenty of fresh herbs. Then let everyone serve themselves!

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Salmon Macaroni Salad

Your pantry called: It wants you to use it more often! Canned proteins, like salmon, help you avoid last-minute trips to the grocery store for tonight’s dinner. For me, this recipe is filling on its own, but my hubby eats his salad on butter crackers or toast.

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Weekend Baking

Apple Crostata served with whipped cream

Yes, this recipe uses a homemade pie dough and whipped cream, but no one is going to fault you for taking help from the grocery store. Food isn’t meant to invoke guilt or stress, it’s meant to bring joy and calm. If joy looks like refrigerated pie dough and canned whipped cream, that’s okay! The most important thing is enjoying this week’s dessert.

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Marta Rivera

Marta Rivera is trained chef with over 20 years in the culinary field and the blogger behind Sense & Edibility. She graduated from the Baltimore International Culinary College with degrees in Culinary Arts and Classical Pastries. Her cookbook is Taste and See Cooks.

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